Friday, September 21, 2012

Jo - Christmas Canvas

Hi everyone
I seem to be on a Christmas roll at the moment, even though it is September.  But if you want to make your own Christmas decorations, or gifts, then you need to start early, especially if you are using products that are not always in your stash.
This next project was inspired by everyone asking me for information on my tree canvas that I had loaded in the Gallery.

So I am going to do a step by step through the products that I use to decorate my new christmas canvas.

Firstly I prefer the back of a canvas to the front, I love the fact that I have a built in shelf, that I can put three dimensional things into. This is a deep edged canvas.  I was going to show a picture of the finished project, but then I thought perhaps by not doing that yet, you will get some inpiration to make up one of your own. I have used a 12x12 canvas.

So firstly I use Gesso. You can use Modelling Paste as well if you have it. It is better, but it is more expensive. So use what you can afford.

I use a knife or something smooth, a credit card works well (I always find that I can't go shopping after doing that, so wouldn't recommend unless you have a new one!). Do it thick enough that you can't see the staples, and the ridge or any grooves in the back of the canvas. (I don't always want to cover the grooves, so the thickness is up to you). Sorry but now you have to let it dry around 12 hours - I just leave it overnight.  Don't try to dry it quicker with a hair dryer or heatgun. I have heard that if you dry the top, the bottom stays damp and it can grow mould and your project will not last very long.

Next day, we are up to the next stage.  This is a tricky one, if you want make it to dimensional, it is hard to stick things to it, so if you have modelling paste do not put it on to thick, if you are impatient and you don't have modelling paste you can use gesso again.  Lay a template over the canvas. I have used the Crafter's Workshop template snowflakes. (I do personally like the Crafter's Workshop ones, mostly because I have 20 odd designs but they are 30cm x 30cm so it tends to work well for scrapbooking).  But use whatever you prefer.

Spread gesso over the design around the edge, fill up the design, spread it smooth over the top, as below.

 Then very gently pick up the template from two corners at once.  
NOTE: Now I know you are tempted to wash this off now, but if you are a scrapbooker or art journal person, lay the stencil with the gesso side face down on some cardstock, and then rub with a brayer, or rolling pin gently, and the gesso will go onto the page, pull up the stencil, put the paper aside to dry and then later on you will have a page ready to spray or ink or well what ever you want for your next project.  You can wash your stencil now.  Yes now you have to let it dry again for 12 hours!

Believe it or not this is going to be quite a vintage look, but for some reason I decided to use a very bright blue paint, oh well, the brain wasn't really in gear.  But that's okay because now we really get to play with some more cool products.

I used the stencil again, and I worked out where it been originally, and I stencilled using silver paint, over the design, to get some snowflakes really showing up. I used a dauber as the design was quite hard to get into.  Now that we are brighter than ever, it's crackle medium time.

You cannot be thrifty with crackle medium so pretend you are spreading peanut butter or jam onto toast, (quite thick). Spread it all over the blue paint, then leave it to dry overnight.  No trying to hurry it - it doesn't like it at all.

Now that has taken that bright blue away a bit, and I love it, but.... we want layers and layers. Layers are important just like in scrapbooking or cardmaking.

Glimmer mist was next, but I often use distress stain to do the same trick. I find that it adds a really awesome look quickly, I have used a brown and an aged brick, not too red, but enough to help drop that colour down, especially in the cracks.  This dries really quickly,so  use a heatgun very carefully if required (hair dryer works fine). 
Next I used distress ink and rubbed all the edges and then again over the top of the whole canvas. Then I rubbed some versamark ink over parts of the canvas, and tipped on some distress embossing powder, then use a soft paintbrush to gently move it around, and then tip off the excess. 

Heat set the embossing powder, with a heat gun.  Do not use a hairdryer it will not work!

Finally I used a sealer, to ensure that it doesn't flake if it gets knocked, and if those pesky summer flies land on it, then it is able to be wiped.  Sorry it was a bit glossy and the photo was not as clear as I wanted it.

Now the fun part.  Decorate it, (but that is next week's project!).

Here is another one I have done with similar techniques:
And finally here is a scrapbook page, using the left over gesso from another project.  I saw this sketch some where a couple of years ago and this was my version of it.  This has had distress ink over the top of the gesso to make the backgound.  

So go and get your hands dirty and create a canvas. Pop back next week for more messy fun!